If you’re like me, going to sleep some nights is almost an impossible task. Even if I get to bed early, my brain remains alert, and I cannot blissfully drift to sleep.
During those nights, only after I have exhausted myself from tossing and turning, was I finally able to doze off.
That’s why these nights I take some time to myself to unwind and prepare for bed. I feel like it has made a difference and has really helped me ‘switch off’ my mind before bedtime.
If you’re like me and you also have trouble sleeping, maybe these tips will help you get a good night’s rest.
Meditation is a helpful practice that promotes inner peace in body, mind, and soul. With meditation, some have found that they were able to quieten their minds and stay in the present.
The foundation of many meditation techniques requires you to shift your focus elsewhere so that the intensity of your thoughts weakens and your mind relaxes.
Personally, I have attempted to meditate many times but always found my mind wandering to other stressful tasks.
Sometimes, I even felt kind of silly for trying to focus on my breathing or the sensations in my body. These thoughts are completely normal when you begin to meditate.
But I assure you once you have gotten the hang of it, you will understand why it is such a helpful way to put your mind at ease. That being said however meditation may not be for everybody.
Finding the type of meditation that works for you will only be realized through trial and error.
Here are some meditation techniques you might want to try.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is where you focus on the sensation of your breath as it goes in and out of your body. As you do this your mind will naturally begin to be occupied by thoughts.
When this happens, you refocus your attention back to your breathing and your body. Be kind to yourself during this process.
Notice your thoughts as they begin to appear but don’t obsess over them. Simply observe them and let them pass without judgment.
2. Body Scan Meditation
Body scan meditation or progressive relaxation focuses on releasing the tension trapped in your body. It does this by helping you pay attention to the sensations of your individual body parts, from head to toe.
When I tried this technique as I became aware of the tension I held in my body, I felt very uncomfortable. As I began to release that tension, the relief that washed over me made my body feel light and fluid.
It felt good to focus on the tension melting away so that I could loosen up my body. Although my experience may differ from yours, I still think it is worth a try.
3. Focused Meditation
Focused meditation is a technique where your attention is focused on either an object, sensation, or sound. It uses one of your 5 senses to help you stay in the present moment. A common tool used for focused meditation is mala beads.
There are two main ways mala beads are used. You can use the beads to count a full breath (inhale & exhale) or you can use the beads with a mantra and repeat the mantra after each bead (and one full breath).
These are some effective meditation methods but there are many types to choose from. You should choose which works best for you to fully reap this practice’s benefits.
Yoga is known to be an incredibly calming exercise that makes your body feel light and loose afterwards.
In a survey conducted by the American National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, it was reported that over 55% of yoga users showed an improvement in their sleep.
So before another restless night maybe try some yoga to help improve your sleep. Personally, I love this video for bedtime yoga and it works well for me, but many other sleep yoga videos are out there for you to discover.
Sleep routines are essential when trying to get comfortable before bed. A consistent routine lets your body know when it is time to go to bed. Your body will naturally allow you to relax when it recognizes its bedtime.
There are some important tips to making a sleep routine so you can take full advantage of the unwinding period.
1. Work with Your Circadian Rythm
The circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock. It makes you feel alert in the day and sleepy at night. A thrown-off circadian rhythm can lead to serious sleep problems such as reduced hours of sleep, superficial sleep, and lower-quality sleep.
To get it back on track, it is important to adhere to a sleep routine where you sleep at relatively the same time every day. Other methods include spending time outdoors in natural light, avoiding lit screens during the evening, and avoiding caffeine or other sleep-preventing drinks late into the night.
2. Sleep Rituals
Sleep rituals are a great way to incorporate some quiet unwinding before bed. Depending on your preference, sleep rituals can range from reading a book to listening to mellow music. If you like you can also listen to sleepcasts or an audiobook.
Although there is little to no evidence to prove its claim, I like to drink milk or herbal tea before I sleep. The soothing taste and comfort I get from filling my stomach always puts me right to bed.
Whatever you choose, a sleep ritual greatly influences how you feel and is imperative in creating your sleep oasis.
Here are some of the ways you can ensure a swift and easy drift off to sleep. I think that through these methods you may find something that works, or realize what doesn’t.
From here, you can build a sleep routine or incorporate habits that will improve your slumber.
Hopefully, this article has helped you stay clear of those restless nights!
Judith Louis is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
Register at headliner.newswav.com to become one of our content writers now!
*The views expressed are those of the author. If you have any questions about the content, copyright or other issues of the work, please contact Newswav.